2021 GHSA 2A State Championship Preview

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Pace Academy's 4x800 relay squad

2A Boys

It has been a nice ride for Class 2A for the past 5 years. The GHSA moved all of the private schools that had dominated 2A XC/Track either up to 3A or down to A Private (with the exception of all-girls school St. Vincent's (SVA) 2A was a 'public school' class which opened the gates for the mostly rural schools to be on a more level 'playing field' against each other. Then, ouch... Lovett and Pace are back in 2A again.

Edward Blaha of Pace
Pace Academy has been on a tear this season, a strong distance squad including the Blaha twins Edward & George who could sweep the top 2 spots in the 1600/3200m. John Catherman is a very swift sprinter who also will attempt a double in the 100/200m races. Expect the Knights to contend in all the relays. Alexander Swann is a threat to sweep the hurdles. They control their own destiny at McEachern this weekend. Simple, do what got you here and the title goes back home to Pace.

Towers HS is loaded in the jumps, hurdles, and especially the relays. The question is can 4 guys score enough points to... hold off a Lovett squad that has one of the top hurdlers in 2A, distance strength, and relay power. Washington County is a definite threat, very talented, with speed in sprints, relays, and horizontal jumps. Model, Washington, Oglethorpe County, Vidalia, and Banks County all could score 30 points or more.

Top Athletes to Watch

John Catherman of Pace
John Catherman  Pace  Academy - 10.71
Tey Johnson  KIPP Atlanta Collegiate - 10.80
Dontavios Braswell  Washington County - 10.81
Michael Madison  Vidalia - 21.42
John Catherman  Pace Academy - 21.60 
Tray Johnson  KIPP Atlanta Collegiate - 21.72
Malyk Walker  Washington County - 49.90
Yazeed Richardson  South Atlanta - 50.66
Brayden Hamilton  Coosa - 50.89
Simon Schaebort  Model - 1:58.17
Hunt Shirling  Lovett - 1:59.00
Patrick Pitts  Lovett - 1:59.03
Edward Blaha  Pace Academy - 4:15.30
Simon Schaebort  Model - 4:18.93
George Blaha  Pace Academy - 4:22.02
Edward Blaha  Pace Academy - 9:15.51
Buck Ledford  Banks County - 9:35.35
George Blaha  Pace Academy - 9:37.30
Michael Fleming  Oglethorpe County - 14.82
Austin Wood  Jeff Davis - 15.07
Quentin Hill  Elbert County - 15.30
Aaron McFadden  Lovett - 39.63
Alexander Swann  Pace Academy - 39.81 
Ju'Corie Zellner  Lamar County - 40.42
Towers HS - 42.26
Pace Academy - 42.81
Washington - 42.90
Washington - 3:21.84
Towers HS - 3:21.97
Pace Academy - 3:24.42
Lovett - 8:06.20
Banks County - 8:33.22
Pace Academy -8:36.39
Jake Thompson  Bremen - 147-06
Michael Swiger  Model - 135-08
KB Bonds  Oglethorpe County - 128-05
Shot Put:
JaKwon Bishop  Fitzgerald - 47-10
Tony Rountree  Josey - 47-04
Cam Bates  Thomasville - 44-11.50
High Jump:
Daeshawn Logan  Towers HS - 6-08
Cash Allen  Chattooga - 6-06
Long Jump:
Elijah Hobson  Towers HS - 22-6.25
Gerald Kilgore  Putnam County - 22-06
Malyk Walker  Washington County - 22-06
Triple Jump:
Jayden Kemp  Washington County - 44-08
Michael Fleming  Oglethorpe County - 44-07
Jaurice Hardrick  Columbia - 44-04
Pole Vault:
Thomas Vaughn  Elbert County - 15-0
Hunter Manning  Vidalia - 13-06
Aidan Frias  Rabun County - 13-05
2A Girls

Laura Arenth of Pace

Just like the boys, the public school's reign over Class 2A might be ending this weekend. But, it has been a long time coming for Pace Academy which hasn't won a girls state title in nearly 30 years (1992) The Lady Knights are going to put a hurt on the squads early as they can pour it on and build a huge lead thru Friday, and clinch the title after the 800m finals. Laura Arenth should sweep the 1600/3200m, and the Lady Knights 3 qualifiers could ring up another 12 points. Pace could go 2,3,4 in the 800m run.

Ella Stoudenmire of Oglethorpe County- Berry 2019 State

What is refreshing is that 4 public schools will be fighting hard to keep 'pace' - pun intended and stay within hailing distance of the Lady Knights if they falter. Oglethorpe County finished as team runner-ups back in 2019 and returns nearly everyone from that squad. The Patriots are loaded in the 800/1600, short sprints, and relay squads. Vidalia - home of the best sweet onions in the world - may have their best squad in recent history. The Lady Indians are strong on the field, hurdles, and sport a distance runner. Towers HS as expected has speed and horizontal jumps. KIPP Atlanta Collegiate loaded in both hurdles events, led by Elite athlete Shakiera Woods. Lovett has a strong hurdler themselves with Kayleigh Stargell and XC champ Sydney Lamberson who could bring it at state.

Top Athletes to Watch

Sanna Searles  Dodge County - 12.33
Nakoe Burkes  Calloway - 12.43
Jayda Jones  Oglethorpe County - 12.46
Jayda Jones  Oglethorpe County - 25.52
Catherine Forbes  Towers HS - 25.68
Jamelia Simmons  Towers HS - 25.69
Jamelia Simmons  Towers HS - 57.50
Kayleigh Stargell  Lovett - 58.30
Alyvia Matthews  Bremen - 58.70
Hannah Vincent  Pace Academy - 2:23.98
Laura Romig  Pace Academy - 2:24.88
Ella Stoudenmire  Oglethorpe County - 2:25.80
Laura Arenth  Pace Academy - 5:10.99
Sydney Lamberson  Lovett - 5:24.11
Caroline Hood  Pace Academy - 5:26.53
Laura Arenth  Pace Academy - 11:11.77
Kate Jonas  Pace Academy - 11:35.61
Caroline Hood  Pace Academy - 11:44.66
Shakiera Woods  KIPP Atlanta - 15.15
Ikeria Hamilton  East Laurens - 15.19
Kyleigh Johnson  Vidalia - 15.61
Skakiera Woods  KIPP Atlanta - 47.41
Kayleigh Stargell  Lovett - 47.50
Stella Henry  Dade County - 47.51
KIPP Atlanta - 50.16
Oglethorpe County - 50.27
Towers HS - 50.34
Pace Academy - 4:12.11
Oglethorpe County - 4:12.18
Bremen HS - 4:14.88
Pace Academy - 10:05.96
Oglethorpe County - 10:13.06
Bleckley County -10:30.84
Shelby Speed  Bleckley County - 123-0 
Jasmine Smith  Vidalia - 113-01
Beth Taylor  Heard County - 111-06
Shot Put:
Daiyanna Cooper  Temple - 40-9.25
Yasmine Chambers  South Atlanta - 38-09
Sinclaire Fryer  Laney - 38-05
High Jump:
Hayden Williamson  Vidalia - 5-02
Long Jump:
Myesha Hall  Vidalia - 18-06
Niakoe Burkes  Callaway - 18-06
Zekylah Boyd  Heard County - 18-2.50
Triple Jump:
Ikeria Hamilton  East Laurens - 38-4.50
Myesha Hall  Vidalia - 36-08
Jamelia Simmons  Towers HS - 36-06
Pole Vault:
Brooklyn Kierbow  Bremen - 11-0
Ellie Getchell  Model - 11-0
Madison Brown  Jeff Davis - 9-06